About Us

Municipal Taxpayer Advocacy Group
Launched in October 2010, the Municipal Taxpayer Advocacy Group (MTAG) is a non-profit organization created to work with municipalities and related non-profit organizations across Canada to adopt public and private sector financial management best practices thereby creating value for taxpayer dollars. We are policy think tank working to also influence the federal government and provinces across Canada on issues like high value sole sourcing that also affects governance at the municipal level. Get involved and become a member today.


Ottawa Taxpayer Advocacy Group (OTAG 2008- 2010) served to present the citizens of Ottawa by:

1. Analysing the financial decisions of Ottawa City Council to ensure that alleviating the property tax burden is a priority

2.Encouraging civic participation in the budget process by providing information for the average taxpayer


Tax Increase at the Rate of Inflation?

In 2008 Ottawa was charging taxpayers 50% above the Canadian average for property taxes and utilities for a single family home. Ottawa had the worst record in Ontario and Canada. We often hear "the rate of inflation" as a target for property tax increases, but inflation from 2001 to 2008 is 16.9%, total compensation at the City is up 54%, benefits are up 84% or 5 times the rate of inflation, property taxes and user fees are up 30% or twice the rate of inflation within this 7 year period. The city has been funding this gap through debt. In the words of the Auditor General, "Given the challenges with the City budget…can the City continue to approach Collective bargaining … on a narrow and short-term basis?"

 

Analysis and Statistics

Ottawa city spending about 50% of its budget on employees results is one of the worst records for a municipality in Ontario.  The average city in Ontario spends about 39% of its budget towards employee compensation.

While increasing taxes at the rate of inflation may be justified in some cases, the intended financial savings hoped for as a result of amalgamation have yet to be realized. 

 

Membership Benefits

1. Voting rights at the AGM to select the directors and officers

2. Updated information on issues that affect user fees and taxes

3. Influence of Council decisions through events, news releases and face to face meetings

4. Provide a channel to inform us of stories that we can bring to the attention of the media